ANTIPOLO — Rain or Shine overcame a big second half by Matthew Wright and Phoenix to win, 116-111, in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday at Ynares Center here.
The Elasto Painters blew an 18-point lead before holding off the Fuel Masters thanks to timely plays from Raymond Almazan, Jericho Cruz and Gabe Norwood down the stretch.
“Lucky that we won the game. I felt in the third quarter our energy wasn’t there after our good start,” said ROS head coach Caloy Garcia. “We just woke up in the fourth quarter.”
“Matthew Wright today played like an import. I told the players you cant relax against Phoenix,” he added after his team stayed in the hunt for the top four slots with a 5-3 slate.
A followup dunk by Gabe Norwood off a miss by Almazan gave the Painters a 115-110 cushion with 54.4 seconds left. Almazan then made a free throw and swatted away Phoenix import Brandon Brown’s drive attempt inside the last 10 seconds to seal Rain or Shine’s fifth win.
Almazan posted a double-double with 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and 11 rebounds with three blocks to boot.
J’Nathan Bullock scored Rain or Shine’s first 17 points and already had 24 points by halftime. But he cooled off in the second half to finish the game with 33 points built on seven 3-pointers.
Wright led Phoenix’s comeback, firing 17 points in the third quarter to erase a 16-point deficit. The Fil-Canadian deadshot exploded for a game-high 36 points while Brown added 33 points and 20 rebounds.
The loss eliminated the Fuel Masters from playoff contention as they reeled to their eighth straight setback for a lowly 2-8 mark with only a game left.
Jeff Chan struggled in his first game against his former team. He scored only six points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field.